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Winning WC was my biggest dream: Tendulkar

Last updated on: April 4, 2011 17:09 IST

'Winning World Cup is my biggest achievement'

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Bikash Mohapatra

He had to wait for 22 long years.

And seemed it would be an endless one, the only regret in an otherwise glittering career.

However, on a fateful Saturday evening it was realized.

Three weeks short of what would be his 38th birthday, Sachin Tendulkar, without doubt India's best cricketer ever, got possibly his best birthday present ever. And it was his teammates who ensured this will be a birthday to remember by winning the ICC World Cup.

- Images: Sixth time lucky for Tendulkar

The Master Blaster had won the trophy that had eluded him for long. It took him six attempts. But India's six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede made Tendulkar part of a World Cup-winning squad.

It was an honour he probably deserved earlier in his career; an honour that probably justified his greatness. And, definitely, something that made him emotional.

"I lived a dream," said Tendulkar, adding, "Winning the World Cup was my biggest dream.

"And today it is my biggest achievement."

The Master Blaster admitted that the feeling is yet to sink in completely.

"April 2, 2011 was my biggest day in life," he said, adding, "I became extremely emotional, which is rarely the case, and those tears in my eyes were happy tears.

"The moment had never happened before. We had to pinch one another to make sure that it was actually happening in our life."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after winning the World Cup
Photographs: Getty Images
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'We peaked at the right time'

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Many Indian players confessed after the triumph that they wanted to win it for the Master Blaster, and the latter admitted it was indeed a nice gesture.

- I wanted to win the Cup for Sachin: Yuvraj

"I was touched when the players said they won it for me," said Tendulkar. "It was because of a collective effort and collective responsibility that we won the Cup.

"I believe we peaked at the right time and that was important."

Though he could score only 18 in the final, Tendulkar had played his part, a significant one at that, in the tournament scoring 482 runs in nine innings (@ 53.55), including two centuries and two half-centuries.

That ensured he finished the second highest scorer in the tournament, behind Sri Lanka's Tillekeratne Dilshan (500 runs @ 62.50).


Image: Sachin Tendulkar is chaired by his teammates on a lap of honour after the World Cup triumph
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Pressure and expectation are always there'

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Asked whether it was the pressure that made him deliver the goods yet again, Tendulkar's reply was precise.

"Pressure and expectation are always there. The pressure on me was built up by my own expectations.

- We had set our sights on WC two years ago: Dhoni

"So, I won't say it was pressure, but preparation."

Now that he had achieved practically everything possible in cricket, many expected him to call it quits.

Asked if he was contemplating the same, the reply was evasive.

"Before winning the title, the way I was playing cricket for the last 21 years, there was a sense of satisfaction. After the win, I don't think I would want to change anything."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Getty Images
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'As a team we are going to miss Gary a lot'

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Tendulkar was all praise for coach Gary Kirsten. The South African had announced his decision to leave the team before the tournament.

- India players applaud outgoing coach Kirsten

"As a team we are going to miss him a lot," he said, adding, "Personally, I think Gary Kirsten should continue as the coach of the Indian team.

"But I understand he has got commitments and I respect his decision."


Image: Gary Kirsten

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'Dhoni is the best'

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Tendulkar was also generous in his praise for MS Dhoni, admitting the 29-year-old is the best captain he played under.

- India worthy World Champions: Aus media

"Among all the captains I have played under, he's certainly the best. The maturity and alertness that he has is tremendous.

"He reads the situation well and is open to ideas. He understands the situation and doesn't show frustration.

"And that's good for any captain. He has got those qualities, and that has made him successful."


Image: MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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100th international hundred

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As regards Sachin Tendulkar himself, now that he is part of a World Cup-winning squad, there is nothing more left for him to achieve as a cricketer.

Well, hold on...

There's something still left, after all. But he should achieve it in quick time.

You guessed it. It is that 100th international hundred -- he currently has 99 tons in Tests and ODIs combined.

But till he gets there, Tendulkar can cherish his most memorable triumph ever.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Getty Images
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